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Individual-based modeling of plant functional traits under changing environmental conditions in the tropical region

Grant number: 19/06486-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:David Montenegro Lapola
Grantee:Bárbara Aparecida Pereira da Rocha Cardeli
Home Institution: Centro de Pesquisas Meteorológicas e Climáticas Aplicadas à Agricultura (CEPAGRI). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/02537-7 - AmazonFACE/ME: the Amazon-FACE Model-Experiment integration project - the role of biodiversity and climate feedbacks, AP.PFPMCG.JP
Associated scholarship(s):19/27690-3 - Ecological competition in Amazon rainforest: performance of competition module in CAETÊ, a trait-based model, BE.EP.MS


Several models of the terrestrial biosphere have been developed to better understand the response of vegetation to human perturbations, namely Dynamic Global Vegetation Models - DGVMs. However, these models yield a substantially variable response on the role of the biosphere to the global carbon cycle in light of climate change scenarios. This variation can be partly explained by the generalization made in DGVMs with respect to the functional diversity of plants (i.e. a high number of growth strategies are currently represented by only a few functional types in current DGVMs). Models based on functional attributes rise as a promising alternative to abetter characterization of surviving mechanisms and growth strategies adopted by plants. The canopy-level logic used by many (but not all) DGVMs may be an impediment for taking full advantage of trait-based models, considering that traits can vary in an interspecific sense but also in an intraspecific and individual level. As such, in this MS project will endeavor the modification of the Carbon and Ecosystem functional Trait Evaluation (CAETÊ) model to include individual-based competition for environmental resources and evaluate it against the canopy-based formulation currently implemented in the model. That should be done considering that the adequate competition between CAETÊ's multi-plant life strategies will only arise with an individual/demographic-based formulation of carbon acquisition and accumulation. We will make use an already existing simple vegetation demography scheme and adapt to the CAETÊ model, which uses a trade-offs heuristic to simulate varying plant traits. (AU)

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